On Monday, November 9th, we were invited by Mr. Kenneth Horne to visit the Triplex Safety Glass factory near Birmingham. After a swift and safe journey from Paddington by courtesy of British Railways we reached our destination by midday.
Before lunch we had a quick look round the experimental department of Triplex, where experiments are constantly being tried and tested to meet the ever-expanding ramifications of our high-speed aircraft industry.
After a most excellent lunch we resumed our tour of the works, the main portion of which is devoted to safety glass for the motor-car industry.
Safety glass is of two types:
(I) Laminated. This is done by marrying up two pieces of glass which are separated by a plastic sheet. After a special heat and rolling process the two pieces of glass become firmly stuck together and the plastic sheet is completely indiscernible. This glass is fitted to all British cars of the more expensive makes and all American cars.
(2) Toughened. After being cut to the desired pattern this glass is put through a special heat-treating machine. At the maximum temperature it is bent into the required shape and finally cooled by a blast of cold air. This glass is fitted to all popular models which are glazed by Triplex.
One of the most interesting and ingenious developments we were shown was a means of defrosting glass internally. This was done by inserting a practically invisible wire radiator between the laminated glass. When contact is made this device acts as a defroster and de-icer. This device is most commonly used in the aircraft industry.
Lastly it is interesting to note that practically all the machinery used in the Triplex factory in connection with the various processes has been evolved by Triplex technicians. — J. C. M.